The fifth speaker at the meeting was the highly anticipated and distinguished Abdullah al Andalusi. He was originally born in the Church of England but later converted to Islam and has become something of a spokesperson for the British-Islamic view of
Abdullah's lecture was entitled The Union Flag: a Muslim Perspective, of the British Flag. The talk started off with a spiritual charge as Andalusi began the presentation with an Islamic Invocation asking for the blessings of God the most merciful. He then went on to give us a general picture of how the Islamic World views the British Flag. He pointed out that the crosses are symbols of Christianity, but in the modern world the religious undertone of the British Flag is hardly noticed or a non issue. No part of the British Islamic community feels threatened or misrepresented by the British Flag. According to Andalusi the UK Union Flag represents the UK and not necessarily the faith of Christ.
Somebody addressed the issue of flags as being idols. Andalusi took the issue that God had made us distinct from one another so we could recognize each other, and he did so by quoting scripture from the Bible. I could infer that Anadlusi accepted that flags are there for a reason, but there is danger that they can be misused as idols.
Andalusi later said that flags in the Islamic World were historically used as battle flags so fighters and commanders knew who was fighting who. Although we often think of Islamic nations clashing with Christian nations, for much of history there has been Christian on Christian infighting as there was Islamic on Islamic in fighting. Just recently one of the most deadly conflicts of the post WWII era took place between Iraq and Iran, yet both nations are seriously dedicated to the teachings of the Koran.
An interesting point Andalusi clarified for me was the Shahadah flag, that has Arabic Calligraphy on it and uses the colours black and white. A black flag in Islam represents a war flag. Black is chosen because it represents mourning since war is a very sad event. However the white flag in Islam represents peace.
Andalusi also made a sincere appeal that Islam has a humanitarian perspective, and several times he iterated that since we are all the children of Adam and Eve we are simpl y one family of brothers and sisters under the house of Alla h, (or rather God).
Watch Adbullah al Andalusi interviews on by British Press on UK TV: Andalusi